Business Law in Canada –Chapter 3: The Resolu▯on ofDisputes –The Courts and Alterna▯ves to
Two private persons use the court as a referee to adjudicate a dispute, and the judge (or judge with a
jury) chooses between the two posi▯ons presented
A crime is an oﬀense against the state with the vic▯ms as witnesses. The government prosecutes the
accused and the judge (or jury) must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Canadian Court System
Court Martial Appeal Provincial Court of Federal Court of
Court Appeal Appeal
Superior Courts Federal Court Tax Court of Canada
Military Courts Provincial Courts
Surrogate or probate courts
Specialized courts in some provinces for administra▯on of wills and estates
Used primarily at the provincial level for cases involving aboriginals. The judge is not bound to accept a
Courts Administra▯on Service Act
Separated two divisions of federal court into the Federal Court (for trials) and the Federal Court of
Appeal Supreme Court of Canada
9 appointed judges, strictly an appellate func▯on
Court ac▯on must be taken within a rela▯vely short▯me from the event. Time limita▯on varies
depending on jurisdic▯on and nature of complaint.
Writ of summons
(Only in BC) the plain▯ﬀ issues to commence an ac▯on and the defendant ﬁles an appearance with the
court clerk if they wish to dispute
Statement of claim
Sets out the details of the plain▯ﬀ’s allega▯ons. It is ﬁled with the court clerk and served on the
Statement of defense
The defendant provides answers to the claims of theplain▯ﬀ, sta▯ng areas of agreement, disputed
claims, and contrary allega▯ons.
If the defendant believes that they are the real vic▯m, they ﬁle a counterclaim
The documents used to start and defend a lawsuit. The par▯es state their claims and establish the
required elements of the legal ac▯on. Once the pleadings have closed, the par▯es have the right to seta
date for trial and begin discovery.
1. Discovery of documents: each part has the right toinspect any document in the possession of
the other party that may be used in evidence at thetrial.
2. Examina▯on for discovery: the par▯es (with lawyers)meet the court reporter and answer
detailed ques▯ons under oath. Everything is recorded and may be used at trial.
Oﬀer to se▯le
Either party can make an oﬀer and it ends the ma▯er
Wri▯en statements ▪ The burden of proof at trial rests with the plain▯ﬀ, so their case and witnesses are presented